School Board Happenings - 2017
Welcome to my website - A place where you can look for updates and issues that the Stafford School Board is addressing for the current school year (You can also find information on my Facebook page).
The School Board and Dr. Benson are working at making significant operational and educational improvements to our school division. Among them are many of the issues (listed below) that I provided when I ran for my seat 4 years ago - many updates on those items and more are provided. You can see the latest budget priorities approved by the full Board under the Budget Information tab.
- Reducing class sizes: UPDATE: The class size reduction initiative is underway - we recently approved approximately 24 positions to accommodate the growth in the county in an attempt to keep our ES class sizes below SOQ limits.
- Equalizing program parity: UPDATE: We are continuing to work toward each school having (no matter what school your child attends), equal access to similar offerings. It isn't always possible given the preferences of principals and other factors, but we're a great deal closer to the parity we've been striving for.
- Initiating shared services with Stafford County Government: UPDATE: We have signed into an agreement with the Board of Supervisors to begin looking at sharing services between the school division. We're looking for improved efficiency as well as overall cost savings. We have also begun the process of a JOINT CIP (Capital Improvements Planning Process). You'll see links that will go into more detail as we begin this process.
- Updating antiquated financial services software: UPDATE: This was my number one priority when I joined the board - We have now implemented the use of the MUNIS system which has been a Godsend for SCPS. The old Lotus 1-2-3 and spread sheet use for budgets and spending are a permanent thing of the past.
- Cyclical replacement of technology and transportation systems: UPDATE: Nearly completed - We are hopeful that this will become a regular practice of replacing outdated technology.
- Expanding and improving community and constituent communications: UPDATE: Constantly evolving, with a full staff to support the message and the mission of the School Division.
- Bringing educational building specifications up to 21st century and beyond teaching practices: UPDATE: ES Specs are completed and now being implemented with the rebuild of Moncure Elementary School. With the help of our CIP Advisory Committee, we are looking at updated specifications for a future high school.
- Initiating a forensic (deep dive) audit of all financial transactions, communications, etc., to determine culpability and accountability for the $8.3M dollar salary lapse issue: UPDATE: Completed and completely corrected!! The lax controls that were permitted by prior superintendents and school boards is a thing of the past.
- Tightening of all approval protocols and reduction in caps for all financial transactions within the school division: UPDATE: Completed
- Supporting legislative actions to reduce the number of S.O.L tests required in the Commonwealth: UPDATE: Completed, and successful!
- Expansion of existing High Schools to accommodate future growth within the County: UPDATE: Completed - HOWEVER, with the extraordinary amount of growth the county is seeing, it appears we're going to need to start planning for more supporting infrastructure (more schools, more fire and rescue, more social services......)